Start Here: MIphone Buddy
Delivering Meals on Wheels to seniors is a beloved volunteer activity in cities and towns across the country. At MIFA, we have provided meals to seniors who are homebound since 1976. You can be part of this tradition of service. Learn more below!
How Does It Work?
MIFA delivers about 600,000 meals to 4,000 seniors each year. Some clients receive deliveries at their homes because they are homebound or disabled; others dine at congregate meal sites with other seniors.
Many home-delivered meal clients live alone and do not have family or friends who support them. For some clients, the volunteer or MIFA staff driver who delivers their meal will be the only person they see that day. We created the MIphone Buddy program to provide additional social support for clients on days we don't deliver.
Through the MIphone Buddy program, volunteers provide friendly weekly phone calls to seniors who receive Meals on Wheels and are homebound or isolated. These volunteers are assigned a list of about 10 clients to call each week, and they typically make their calls on days we don't deliver meals (Thursday and Friday).
"I do so enjoy talking to them. I miss my own mom and dad and this is actually cathartic. Plus, I like helping folks." -MIphone Buddy volunteer
The calls provide an additional social contact, offering comfort and companionship to those who may be lonely. Resources are available to help you answer client questions, and you can report the results of your calls using a convenient online form.
This volunteer experience is uplifting for the client and rewarding for the volunteer. Join us!
Who Can Volunteer?
Volunteer from anywhere! MIphone Buddy volunteers can serve remotely.
This role is best suited to volunteers who can commit to the program for a period of time, since the client and volunteer will build a relationship over time.
All volunteers must complete a volunteer application; a parent or guardian must consent for those under 18. Adult volunteers also submit to a background check to help ensure the safety of our clients.
How Do I Get Started?
We ask that all new volunteers review the MIphone Buddy volunteer handbook to gain an understanding of the responsibilities and benefits of serving as a MIphone Buddy, and read the volunteer confidentiality and nondisclosure statement. This video also gives you an idea of what to expect when you volunteer.
When you are ready, complete the volunteer application online (if you are volunteering with a group, please use the group volunteer application). Once your application has been processed, a member of our engagement team will be in touch to help you schedule your training and assign your call list.
If have questions and would like to reach out, please feel free to contact Angela Scott at email@example.com or (901) 529-4558.